In the past, a notepad, a pen, a telephone, good memory and organization were the main tools of salespeople in their work. Mastering all sales processes required a lot of skill. Luckily, today we have a number of tools to choose from, thanks to which you can sell smarter, better and more effectively.
If you use a CRM system such as Salesforce, it’s even easier! You will find many of these tools as CRM functions – we suggest where to look for them.
Nowadays, few people can imagine working without a calendar — this is the best place to note down the dates and hours of meetings and deadlines of projects. However, carrying it with you all the time, writing down all the dates (provided you haven’t forgotten to take a pen!) and turning over pages in search of one piece of information can become a nuisance over time. That’s why it’s worth using calendars available online and on mobile devices.
- Google Calendar – if you work in gSuite on a daily basis, this calendar will be a great solution for you. It is integrated with applications such as Gmail, Disk, Contacts (if you use Android) or Hangouts, so it’s much easier to plan tasks for yourself and your team. Clear schedules are available on the web, so you can access them anytime, anywhere, and any changes are visible right away. If suddenly “something goes wrong” and you want to change the date of an event in your calendar, you also have the option to do so — via your computer, tablet or smartphone. All you need is an Internet connection.
- Salesforce – In Salesforce you can also use the calendar, thanks to which you can plan your day and work. You can not only save the most important plans in it, but you also have the following options:
- Public Calendar — you can follow company-wide events such as training activities or holidays.
- Resource Calendar — ideal to plan booking meeting rooms or presentation equipment in your company — gives you insight into whether someone is using it or whether it is available to you.
- Calendar of deadlines — you can display in the calendar any deadlines, about which you store information in the system, such as the dates of commissioned tasks or the expiry dates of sales opportunities.
Internet monitoring/Social Media
By monitoring the Internet and Social Media you can find out what your customers think about your product and you can also reach potential customers through it! What tools can you use for this purpose?
- Salesforce Social Studio – If you are using the Salesforce system, you should take an interest in the Social Studio module. In addition to the fact that you can manage all profiles from one place, you can also monitor all user activities in real time. This allows you to react quickly to a comment in the discussion or answer a question about your product. You can also create profiles of topics you want to observe, so that nothing escapes your attention.
- Brand24 – One of the most recommended tools for monitoring the Internet. After proper configuration of the observed keywords every time when someone uses them, you will receive a notification along with a description and a link. Thanks to this you will be able to respond to someone who is looking for your product.
Building a customer data base
Building a customer base is not just about collecting a large number of contacts, it is also about their quality – whether they belong to our target group, whether we have current and real data, etc. Checking these aspects manually would be too time-consuming, so it is a good idea to use tools to make this task easier.
- Salesforce Sales Cloud – the most popular Salesforce license offers many tools to work with customer data, along the entire path of their brand contacts. From lead collection forms that make it easy for you to collect data from new customers, through validation rules that ensure data quality, to automation that simplifies the data completion and refreshment process. All these elements can be clicked out by a business user, and if your requirements are more sophisticated – market place Salesforce offers hundreds of components and applications that will solve your data problems for you.
- Linkedin Sales Navigator – LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular as a place to acquire new contacts and customers. No wonder — it is a business environment, bringing together specialists from many industries. That’s why it’s worth thinking about whether to start selling here — and for that you’ll need a tool called Sales Navigator. You can use them to search contacts matching your target group, filter them, look for similar contacts, save them as “leads” and send messages to people outside your contact group. In addition, if you have a Salesforce CRM system, you can combine these two tools — so that you can easily collect data about potential customers in one place.
- GrowBots – A tool that will automate the process of searching for a potential customer. In a database of over 200 million contacts, the program will find the addresses most suited to your company’s profile (with the right filter settings), automate your e-mail campaign and correspondence with potential customers, and show you the best prospects for you. You can easily integrate the tool with Salesforce, ensuring that your customers’ data is stored in one place.
Supplementary information on prospects
Besides building a database of customers, what you know about them is also important. That is why it is necessary to supplement the information about prospects – i.e. people who have given you their contact details and show willingness to buy. In order to perform well before a meeting with a potential customer, it is worth doing the most thorough research on his subject, and the following tools will be prove useful during this process.
- Detective by Charlie – The algorithm of this tool scrupulously searches all the information about the prospect available on the Internet. Thanks to it you will obtain thorough knowledge about your potential customer and learn what topics to raise during the meeting in order to make it a success. By the way, you will save a lot of time you would otherwise have to spend using the Google or LinkedIn search engine.
- SpyFu – SpyFu is primarily used for website analysis. You can use it to check information like: amounts spent by the client on advertising or keywords used in search engines.
Sending e-mails is one of the most common activities performed by a salesperson. If it’s just a few e-mails a day, the salesperson can handle them very well. However, if the number of e-mails increases significantly and writing messages starts to take up most of the working day, it makes perfect sense to improve the process of sending mailings and systematize them with the appropriate tools. As a result, we make fewer mistakes while sending messages, and save time.
Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Pardot
With the options available in Salesforce, you can not only take away some of the salesperson’s boring and repetitive responsibilities, but also improve the perception of your brand among customers. The platform gives you the opportunity to prepare e-mail templates for your employees. The system will complete the template itself with customer data, ensuring that messages are as personalized as possible. Templates can contain branding elements, and you can attach previously prepared catalogues as files. This means that salespeople will no longer have to look for current catalogues when answering every query!
Do you want the salesperson to be able to adjust the content of the e-mail? No problem. Once you add a template, your employee can modify the prepared content so that it fully meets the customer’s needs. Best of all, the salesperson does not even have to log in to Salesforce to take advantage of these possibilities – the integrations available for Outlook and Gmail allow you to use these functions directly in your mailbox!
If your customers write a lot of emails, your employees are not always able to respond immediately. In this situation, Salesforce will allow you to set up automatic responses to confirm that your customer’s e-mail has arrived and will be properly dealt with… within, let’s say, the next 48 hours. This reduces the number of missed opportunities and improves the perception of your brand among your customers.
In a situation where your business is based on B2B customers and your mailing is not limited to conversation but requires automated marketing activities, Pardot is the ideal solution for you. The tool expands the standard Salesforce capabilities, allowing your marketing department to flourish – read more in our article.
The salesman can arrange meetings with the customer in various ways – via e-mail, telephone, text message, “live”…. However, these activities can take up quite a lot of valuable time during the day. In order to make it easier for salespeople to communicate with customers and to shorten the way to the meeting, tools have been created that are meant to facilitate the salesperson’s work.
- Appoint.ly – do you want to meet the customer, but before you agree on the right date, you exchange a lot of e-mails and phone calls? You can easily change this. How? Through Appoint.ly. You set up some convenient appointment dates in the calendar and make them available to the client. The customer chooses the best date, one click and… you’re done. This saves you time, you have clearly defined appointments and you avoid double appointments.
- Salesforce Inbox – when you make an appointment with someone and use the CRM system, you can use the Salesforce Inbox tool. It works similarly to Appoint.ly – you can share your schedule with the client. This allows you to make an appointment faster and all the data will be automatically saved in your CRM system.
Productivity and optimization are words often used in the work of a salesperson. What tools can further improve the performance of everyday activities? See our suggestions..
- Salesforce Sales Cloud – In Salesforce Sales Cloud you will determine the proper organization of work and process control. The transparent design and the “point & click” system are designed to simplify many activities and significantly shorten their duration.
- Trello – One of the most popular and free tools for work organization. It will allow you to create projects and organize tasks, and the appearance of the tabs will make it much easier for you to control project processes.
- EverHour – If you want to know how much time you spend on particular tasks, try out this tool. By collecting real data, you’ll be able to see what takes you the most time and optimize your work. You can integrate EverHour with other tools, including the Trello tools mentioned above.
Sales process management
Introducing a sales process management tool will not guarantee you a 100% increase in revenues right away, but it will certainly help to increase revenues significantly. Only when you have control over all activities can you manage them properly and eliminate unnecessary “time devourers”. Choose a tool that will effectively help you do it:
- Salesforce Sales Cloud – if you want to sell more, it is obvious that you will have to systematize all data and sales activities. Reach for a proven CRM Salesforce Sales Cloud system, which collects and consolidates all the customers’ contact details in one place, moves all forms of contact with the customer to one place, and optimizes the operation of the team so that all sales activities are as effective as possible. All this in the form of a very intuitive interface, also available on mobile devices.
- E-mail tracking – Sending an email is one thing, but knowing what happened to it later is invaluable. Every salesperson would like to know if his message was opened, or maybe marked as SPAM? This way he could check if his actions are effective and what can be changed in the future. Fortunately, such tools also exist!
- MixMax – One of the tools that has the option of checking whether an e-mail has been opened is MixMax. In addition, you can create a message template (or use ready-made ones), easily plan a meeting in one e-mail, adding the option of choosing the meeting date, or even add a survey.
- Bananatag – When you click “send”, you lose control over what happens to the message. So why not recover it? Through Bananatag you can see how the addressees reacted to your e-mail. You can integrate the program with your Gmail, Outlook and the mail app on iOS and Android. In the free option you can track up to 5 e-mail topics per day.
- Salesforce Sales Cloud i Salesforce Pardot – by sending an e-mail via Salesforce or via your own inbox, which is integrated in the CRM system, you will receive information about what happened with your message: did it reach the addressee? When was it opened? How many times was it opened? Your salespeople have access to this information so that they can tailor their actions to each customer’s needs. You can also click on the automation system yourself, which will motivate the customer, for example, if he has opened an e-mail several times but has not responded. These options are available in the basic functionalities of Salesforce Sales Cloud, and Salesforce Pardot will do a great job in the case of advanced paths and actions.
The salesman’s experience undoubtedly plays a big role in making decisions related to the sales strategy. However, it is definitely worth to be supported by data analysis provided by artificial intelligence. Thanks to it, you can discover new sales opportunities and automate individual processes. See what tools use artificial intelligence in their operation:
Salesforce Einstein Analytics – Einstein Analytics is a set of tools supporting the work of sales, service and marketing departments with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Thanks to Einstein Analytics, sales representatives can manage forecasts, sales process and team performance much better than “manually” and all the data is stored in one CRM system.
The technology provides increasingly more options to systematize, automate and control many complex sales processes. You can search for them on the Internet and try or…. choose a CRM system that will have all the necessary options in it. What tools you use depends only on you.